Stitched sling retraction technique for microvascular decompression: procedures and techniques based on an anatomical viewpoint

Neurosurg Rev (2011) 34:373–380. DOI 10.1007/s10143-011-0310-0

The success of microvascular decompression stitched sling retraction techniques for treating trigeminal neuralgia (TN), hemifacial spasm (HFS), and glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN), focusing on the stitching point for slinging the offending artery in the appropriate direction.

Between January 2007 and March 2009, 28 patients with TN, 5 patients with HFS, and 3 patients with GPN underwent MVD with a sling retraction technique. In cases of TN, MVD was performed using the infratentorial lateral supracerebellar approach, and the offending superior cerebellar artery was superomedially transposed with a sling stitched to the tentorium cerebelli. In cases of HFS, MVD was performed using the lateral suboccipital infrafloccular approach, and the offending vertebral artery was superolaterally transposed with a sling stitched to the petrous dura. In cases of GPN, MVD was performed using the transcondylar fossa approach, in which the posterior inferior cerebellar artery was inferolaterally mobilized with a sling secured to the jugular tubercle. No patient suffered recurrence in the follow-up period.

For the sling retraction technique to be performed successfully, it is important for a stitch to be placed at a suitable site to sling the offending vessel in the intended direction. An appropriate surgical approach must be used to obtain a sufficient operative field for performing the stitching procedures safely.